The Alliance Aging Out Initiative offers a model bridge for healthy life transitions for youth aging out of the U.S. foster care system and international orphan care. In this interactive workshop, we will examine a key element of that bridge – career development via post-secondary education, vocational training, and more. We will explore the unique challenges and opportunities in helping young people navigate this vital life and career transition.
CEUs Available: 1 (Scott Brown, CAFO Aging Out Initiative; Robert Duke, Azusa Pacific University; and Rick Burslem, Sunrise Children’s Services)
You recognize a variety of issues in your community that are impacting child and family welfare. While foster care is a significant point of engagement, there are other upstream factors contributing to the vulnerability and instability of families, and downstream results that are in need of restoration and renewal. Join us for a conversation about how to strategically engage the continuum of issues – from prevention, intervention, and restoration. You’ll walk away with fresh ideas and a keener sense of clarity for how you can begin to build this culture in your church.
(Gabriel Forsyth, Mosaic Church)
Let’s be honest – whether you are a social worker, or a member of the faith community, you have at least some reservations about working with “the other side.” Learn from those who have seen great results from these vital partnerships and have lived to tell about it. Hear seasoned veterans talk about initial reservations, successes, and missteps – all of which will help you gain confidence as you move ahead for the sake of the kids.
CEU’s Available: 1 (Facilitated by: Shelly Radic, Project 1.27 Joined by: Lauri Currier, The CALL; Mischa Martin, Arkansas Department of Human Services; Chris Combs, Coalition of Care; & Margie Weaver, Hamilton County Job and Family Services)
Child welfare workers are at risk for compassion fatigue. This training will explore how we can incorporate fun into our office culture, amid the stress of the work. In this workshop, we will share our own journey through compassion fatigue and how play and fun have retained our staff and lifted spirits. Come and be entertained – as well as to experience how fun can bring balance to the work! Think “Jimmy Fallon” but on a non-profit budget.
(Katie Bass, Olive Crest)
The impact of your ministry is largely dependent upon your capacity to form strategic partnerships with churches. You believe the Church is the answer to the problem your organization is trying to solve, but you’re struggling to get the ear of a busy pastor, navigate through the complicated structures of various church ministry departments, or are just having a hard time helping churches see how they can truly make an impact through the work you are doing. We get it. Of course, there are more than four ways to approach churches – and certainly more than four principles to consider. But based on our work with organizations all around the country, we believe if you at least start with these four you’ll see a shift – not only in how churches are responding to your organization but perhaps more importantly, how your organization is approaching them in the first place. As a result, doors will open, conversations will happen, partnerships will form, trust will build, and impact will be multiplied over time.
(Jason Johnson, CAFO and Tiffany Loeffler, The Alliance: Defending the Cause of Kids & Families)
There are more than enough families for the children in your community who need them. It’s just that they haven’t been found . . . yet. Come, see, and steal (uh, borrow) some of the best ideas in the country for finding foster, kinship, and adoptive families in your community. You’ll come away with practical steps learned from several leaders who are getting results in their own communities in innovative and surprising ways.
CEU’s Available: 1 (Facilitated by: Jason Weber, CAFO Joined by: Ian Anand Forber-Pratt, Children’s Emergency Relief International – CERI; Darren Washausen, Orphan Care Alliance; Sharen Ford, Focus on the Family; & Renaut van der Riet, Mosaic Church)
When you sign up for orphan care, you might not realize it – but you are also signing up for racial reconciliation. Navigating that in today’s church culture can feel intimidating and overwhelming. Join Bishop Aaron Blake and Eric Porter as they discuss how churches can, and are, succeeding in becoming multiracial.
(Eric Porter, Backyard Orphans & Bishop Aaron Blake, Harvest Family Life Ministries)
Some people think of data as mere numbers. However, data is used every day to tell stories that mobilize others to step into the lives of hurting people. Data has the potential to motivate and mobilize church, organizational, and business leaders in your community to transform the foster care experience for thousands of kids and families where you live. Learn how from a team of leaders from organizations that have been doing it for years.
CEU’s Available: 1 (Facilitated by: Andy Cook, Promise686 Joined by: Adrien Lewis, CarePortal; Michelle Douglas, The CALL; and Chris Campbell, 111Project)
Join us as we discuss the current state of legal challenges nationwide, with a focus on the Supreme Court’s decision in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, and what this could mean for faith-based foster care and adoption agencies who partner with the government or are regulated and licensed by the government.
(Nick Reaves, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and Herbie Newell, Lifeline Children’s Services)
Join us if you are a church or nonprofit leader interested in moving your ministry initiative from reactive activity to sustained system-wide impact in your work of caring for vulnerable children and families. The discussion will focus on applying concepts, addressing barriers, and sharing ideas presented in the book Upstream by Dan Heath.
(Amber Knowles, Fostering Family)
You want your church to have a thriving and effective foster care ministry, but it all seems a little overwhelming. You could use a little clarity about the next steps you should take. Whether you are just starting out, or have been at it for years, this workshop is created to give you that clarity. We’ll unpack six key pillars of what an “actively engaged church” in foster care looks like. You’ll walk away more connected with other leaders like you, more inspired to do the work God has called you to do, and more confident in what the next best steps are for your church’s foster care ministry.
(Facilitated by: Jason Weber & Jason Johnson, CAFO Joined by: Gabriel Forsyth, Mosaic Church; Carly Souza, Hope Church; Sarah Norris, True Vine Ministries; Bishop Aaron Blake, Harvest Family Life Ministries; Kondo Simfukwe, Mission Point Community Church; and Lesli Reece, Fostering Together)
Within the overall challenges of child welfare is an acute issue at the core that adversely impacts children of color. In the United States, 14% of children are Black. But 23% of children in the foster system are Black. This racial disproportionality adversely impacts more than 100,000 children each year. We can change that.
CEU’s Available: 1 (Adrien Lewis, Erika Glenn, & Audrey Deckinga, CarePortal)
Even as the Church has been called to lead, businesses and other organizations have an important role to play in caring for kids and families in crisis as well. Come receive practical and personalized guidance for successfully engaging businesses in your community.
No sign-ups are required for the coaching tables. Limited seating will be first-come, first-served. Stay the hour or drop in throughout for questions, guidance, and discussion!
(Kyle Johnson, CarePortal)
This guided discussion is for anyone who wants to work on getting an adoption and foster care ministry started at your church. Regardless of church size or budget, this workshop is for you. Bring your questions! You will leave with steps to take to get something started in your very own church and community.
(Kasi Pruitt, Lakepointe Church)
As Christian social work practitioners, we desire to provide spiritual encouragement and discipleship to our Christian foster and adoptive families as they navigate the complexities of foster care. In this workshop, we will share what we have learned over the past two years as we have intentionally integrated the Scriptures into our social work practice. We believe that social work theories, perspectives, and practice models all have roots in Biblical principles. As we have continued this integration, we have begun to develop a practice framework that focuses on the Christian’s desire for spiritual formation as the primary motivation for change. From problem-solving, to crisis intervention, to helping families make sense of their story, it is important that practitioners working with Christian families are prepared to utilize the spiritual disciplines and Word of God as a guide in their process of leading their families. This workshop will describe our practice framework, spiritual foundations, and ideas for basic integration in hopes of encouraging others that desire to begin this process.
CEU’s Available: 1 (Jessi Esterling, FaithBridge)
If anyone should be GREAT at helping struggling families find restoration and reconciliation, it ought to be followers of Jesus. You believe this with all your heart – but could use a little help making it happen in your community. Come and learn from several leaders some of the best ideas going in the field of family preservation and reunification.
CEU’s Available: 1 (Facilitated by: Jason Weber, CAFO Joined by: Alejandra Castro, Back2Back; Chris Johnson, Lifeline Children’s Services; Amber Knowles, Fostering Family; Drake Bassett, Palmer Home for Children; and Ryan Mobley, Safe Families for Children)
We will bring together some of the best minds in the country to focus on the five basic building blocks of local foster care collaboration: Communication, Fundraising, Church Engagement, Data and Technology, and Local Network Health. (Pre-registration required)
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 8:30am – 2:30pm
CEU’s Available: 5
Together we will explore differences, and lessons learned, in refugee foster care and traditional foster care. Come learn how families are opening their homes to children and youth that are far from home. We’ll discuss/share some key differences in fostering youth from abroad and lessons learned along the way.
(Charlotte Paulsen, International Christian Adoptions)
How can we most effectively advocate for those involved in the child welfare system? Issues that these children and families experience often don’t receive the same attention publicly that other societal ills do. We have an opportunity and responsibility to change that. Join us for this creative discussion on specific ways to apply a paradigm called Relational Advocacy, focusing on personal connection within our closest relationships. It doesn’t require heading to Capitol Hill, but can instead become a transformational part of our daily lives. Leave with practical ways to effectively apply it for the children you serve!
(Paul Martin, For The Children (formerly Royal Family Kids))
There are thousands of children who are languishing in the child welfare system, here in the United States, with little or no prospect of a forever family. The statistics surrounding the social ills that await these vulnerable children and youth are horrifying and altogether real. Come with your questions and observations, ready to discuss proven practices that prepare children for full community reintegration through the vehicle of a family.
CEU’s Available: 1 (Jason & Maggie Dunn, House of Providence)
If your community is like most, you are losing approximately 50% of the foster families you recruit within the first year. However, there are communities with a MUCH better retention rate for one simple reason: they are supporting their families incredibly well. If you want to know what is working and how to wrap around foster, kinship, adoptive, and biological families, this workshop is your next best step.
CEU’s Available: 1 (Facilitated by: Jason Johnson, CAFO Joined by: Nicole Taylor, Congregations for Kids (CFK); Pam Parish, Connections Homes; Johnna Stein, Promise686; & Lesli Reece, Fostering Together)
Join this interactive gathering of foster care leaders and advocates to explore, plan, problem-solve, and dream…together. Sit with the presenters you’ve heard through the week to talk through questions and discuss ways to make their ideas on Finding Families, Keeping Families Together, and Supporting Families fit in your communities.
(Facilitated by Jason Weber, CAFO & More Than Enough Leaders)
When a group of churches and local organizations start dreaming together about how to help local child welfare transform foster care in a community, often a bridge ministry is born. These ministries navigate the waters between church and state and fill needed gaps in the local foster care landscape. Whether you are part of an existing bridge ministry or have something brewing in your community, this guided conversation will expose you to the primary functions of a bridge ministry – and discuss the components you should be considering as you grow. Come with questions!
CEU’s Available: 1 (Shelly Radic, Project 1.27)
You are tired of foster care in your community being defined by the words “not enough.” You know it doesn’t have to be that way – but are a little foggy on the way forward. This session will introduce you to the principles, practices, and people of local foster care transformation through the power of community collaboration. A team of leaders from various backgrounds, who have seen thriving foster care movements start and grow in their own communities, will share their insights and answer your questions about how churches, organizations, businesses, and government can work together to go from not enough to more than enough.
CEUs Available: 1 (Facilitated by: Jason Weber, CAFO Joined by: Shelly Radic, Project 1.27; Philip Pattison, Foster the City; Lauri Currier, The CALL; & Sharen Ford, Focus on the Family)